What's New -- November 2019

Digitizing Elmer Albinson's 1940s-1950s Films

By April Rodriguez, media digitization technician

Elmer Albinson was a man of many talents. From funeral director to the director of the American Swedish Institute, and charter member of the Minneapolis Cine Club. His collections features footage of Grand Portage, Indigenous peoples, and the story of the French voyageurs. It also features his brother, Dewey, discussing his approach to studying and selecting subject matter to paint.

What is fascinating about the collections is that we have both production elements and his finished works. Albinson went beyond home movie making. He captured stories at an amateur level using multiple cameras and the latest film technology. He received many awards and was recognized for his achievements in cinematography. An early enthusiast in motion picture filming, he is credited with being the first Minnesotan to purchase the first lot of color film in 1933.

When I began to survey the 16mm film collection, I noticed some of the reels of film had a very thin brown strip going down the sides. It's safe to assume when film has sprocket holes punched on both of the sides, also known as perfs, that the film is silent. The film is silent because there is no room for a sound track. Although, an advancement in the amateur filmmaking process made it possible to add a strip of magnetic sound track on the very edge of the double perforated film. That's the allure of filmmaking, there is always a way to make the impossible--possible.

Do you remember doing something for the first time and thinking, "this is so crazy," but by the end you were so thankful? Albinson's collections included small cans of trims and outs that needed to be assembled for digitization. Trims and outs are all the pieces of film that didn't make the final cut. There is no order to trims and outs, and in this case they were taped end to end with masking tape. The process of assembling these materials meant taking off every piece of masking tape, cleaning away the sticky adhesive substance, and splicing the film together with the appropriate tape. With every can containing over 70 pieces of film, the work took time and patience. By the time I finished this work we had beautiful, unique footage to digitize.

Film digitization always begins with an inspection. The film is examined for condition, generation, sound track type, color type, and credit information. Using information from each inspection, the scanner is calibrated to run the film for digitization. Following archival best practices, we produce a preservation file, a mezzanine file, and an access file. Next, the access file is brought into Adobe Premiere Pro so that we can add copyright information and a watermark.

In an effort to be respectful stewards of the material, the language in the finding aid was updated to match current practices. For example, "costume" was changed to "regalia" and, "Indian" was changed to "Indigenous." Only when we are 100% certain of the tribe, band, or nation do we state more specific details. With the Albinson footage filmed close to the Canadian border, we did not want to make any assumptions in regards to nation. To inform our decisions about language, we consulted the MNHS Style Guide and Glossary created by a team focused on aligning our vocabulary to the vast array of communities represented within our collections.

Pigeon River film, undated. Footage of Elmer Albinson Pigeon River film, undated. Footage of Elmer Albinson.

Lake Superior landscape, 1974. Example of a balance stripe on the left edge and a magnetic strip on the right edge Lake Superior landscape, 1974. Example of a balance stripe on the left edge and a magnetic strip on the right edge

Trims and outs attached by masking tape Trims and outs attached by masking tape

Scan Station Personal film scanner by Lasergraphics Scan Station Personal film scanner by Lasergraphics

Pigeon River film, undated. Footage of cedar bark mat weaving Pigeon River film, undated. Footage of cedar bark mat weaving

To access the Elmer Albinson collections please use the links below.

Elmer Albinson, Grand Portage footage

Elmer Albinson, Film collection

Photo credits: Eric Mortenson

New and Updated Finding Aids - November 2019

Name/Abstract File No.
Elmer Albinson: An Inventory of His Film Collection sv000040
Video iconFilm and sound components for various motion pictures. Includes working elements as well as completed films. Some of the working elements are for films independently cataloged in the sound and visual collection. Views from films represent farm scenes, his brother Dewey painting and sketching, American Indians, and the North Shore.

Includes digital content.
Elmer Albinson: An Inventory of His Grand Portage Footage sv000171
Video iconViews of Grand Portage and Pigeon River area in northern Minnesota, stockade at Grand Portage National Monument, and Indigenous people. Some of the footage may have been used in Albinson's film My Chippewa home revisited.

Includes digital content.
American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (Saint Paul, Minn.): An Inventory of Its Records 00497
Organizational files, historical files, subject files, news media files, files relating to relationships with other organizations, investigation files, fund raising events, lobbying files, and case files documenting the 1952 formation and subsequent activities of the Minnesota state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Art School Associations: An Inventory of the Album sv000461
Art School Associations, 1911-1929Views of students (mostly female) and activities at the art school associated with the St. Paul Institute, including amateur theatricals and social gatherings.

Includes digital content.
Carlos Avery: An Inventory of His Men Harvesting Fish Eggs and Fish, Northern Minnesota Album sv000454
Men harvesting fish eggs and fish, northern Minnesota, 1906-1909Views of men collecting fish eggs and netting fish at a river in northern Minnesota, possibly for a research project or a commercial fishing operation. Includes view of Chief John Goodday and family in a canoe and a portrait of Carlos Avery.

Includes digital content.
Jeremiah Ballard and Family Portrait Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000447
Jeremiah Ballard and family portrait album, approximately 1870-1905Views of the Ballard family, possibly from Taylors Falls, Minnesota.

Includes digital content.
Harry E. Basford: An inventory of his papers 01266
Headphones iconCorrespondence and miscellaneous papers, bill files, subject files, files and audio recordings relating to the National Farmers Organization, records of the Grass Roots Fund for Farmers, an oral history interview and transcript, and miscellaneous records of a farmer who represented Minnesota House of Representatives District 63 (Becker County) in the 56th-62nd legislative sessions (1949-1963) as a member of the Liberal caucus.

Includes digital content.
Olga Bjorkquist Photograph Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000449
Olga Bjorkquist photograph album, approximately 1905Scenic views and views of Olga Bjorkquist and friends fishing, boating, and posed outdoors. Some identification included on additional sheet.

Includes digital content.
Bostwick Portrait Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000445
Bostwick portrait album, approximately 1865Cartes-de-visite and tintype portraits, most are unidentified. Original owners of the album may have been Lizzie and Louie(?) Bostwick of St. Anthony, Minnesota.

Includes digital content.
Breckenridge Family Portrait Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000446
Breckenridge family portrait album, 1880-1898Portraits of members of the Breckenridge and Stone families of Pine City, Minnesota and Baring, Maine.

Includes digital content.
Edwin Hacker Brown: An Inventory of the Brown Family Papers P1455
Correspondence and related papers, reports and other business records, legal and financial documents, diaries, scrapbook contents, and photograph albums documenting the life of a Minneapolis architect and engineer and of various members of the related Brown, Hall, and Christian families.
Floyd Brown Photograph Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000468
Floyd Brown photograph album, approximately 1910-1916Views of friends and social and recreational activities, including views of St. Patrick's Day parades in 1915 an 1916, swimming and boating, Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, and trips to Terre Haute and Chicago.

Includes digital content.
Building Soo Line under Jessamine Street to Cardigan Junction: An Inventory of the Album sv000460
Building Soo Line under Jessamine St. to Cardigan Junction, 1900Views of the construction of railroad tracks on the east side of St. Paul, Minnesota and two views of a train wreck.

Includes digital content.
Burlingame Photograph Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000451
Burlingame photograph album, approximately 1898Views of a military training camp, location unknown, and soldiers departing from a railroad station.

Includes digital content.
Gustave Collatz Photograph Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000463
Gustave Collatz photograph album, 1902-1903Views of Collatz's trip to Sturgeon Lake, Ontario to investigate gold discoveries. Includes views of campsite as well as Indigenous people and their dwellings.

Includes digital content.
C. P. Gibson: An Inventory of His Gibson Souvenir of Saint Paul Album sv000440
Gibson souvenir of Saint Paul, approximately 1902Views of Birch Lodge at Dellwood, Minnesota on White Bear Lake, the summer home of Truman W. Ingersoll. Includes exterior and interior views, including construction. Many views of Ingersoll's friends at social gatherings at the lodge, including boating and other recreational activities. Views dated 1887-1893.

Includes digital content.
Graduates of the St. Paul High School: An Inventory of the Album sv000450
Graduates of the St. Paul High School, approximately 1870-1879Portraits of students and a few of faculty members, most are identified.

Includes digital content.
Ethel Fredrickson Green: An Inventory of Her Grace Margaret Lealtad Collection 01306
School-girl days: a memory book, approximately 1915 Materials related to Grace Margaret Lealtad and Ethel Frederickson Green, who attended Mechanic Arts High School and Saint Paul Normal School together. Lealtad was the only African American in her graduating class. She was dismissed from Hill school in St. Paul shortly after graduating because of a petitition by parents objecting to a woman of color teaching their children. She was able to continue teaching under different appointments and retired to California in the 1960s. Collection includes Green's Mechanic Arts High School scrapbook, the M literary magazine dedicated to the senior class of 1915, commencement programs, photograph of class at St. Paul Normal College, portrait of Grace Lealtad, and yearly correspondence (1962-1980) after Lealtad moved to California from Lealtad to Green and her sons.

Includes digital content.
Health Department: An Inventory of It's Indian Health Programs Photograph Album sv000358
Indian health programs photograph albumViews of the Minnesota Health Department's services and clinics for Native Americans, mainly in northern Minnesota on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation including Onigum Sanatorium, Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, and Red Lake Indian Reservation. Included are views of clinic staff, Native American nurses, and Ojibwe dwellings and activities including wild ricing. Also includes views at Pine Bend and Goodhue County.

Includes digital content.
T. W. Ingersoll: An Inventory of His Birch Lodge, Dellwood Album sv000443
Birch Lodge, Dellwood, 1889Views of Birch Lodge at Dellwood, Minnesota on White Bear Lake, the summer home of Truman W. Ingersoll. Includes exterior and interior views, including construction. Many views of Ingersoll's friends at social gatherings at the lodge, including boating and other recreational activities. Views dated 1887-1893.

Includes digital content.
Elizabeth Kenny: An Inventory of Her Papers 00201
Video iconPersonal papers documenting the life and career of an Australian nurse who discovered a revolutionary treatment for infantile paralysis and devoted her life to the dissemination of the treatment throughout the U.S. and abroad, as well as research files of two Kenny biographers.

Includes digital content.
Kodak Views, 1907: An Inventory of the Album sv000466
Kodak views, 1907Views possibly compiled by Swen Berglund of the Lake Street Bridge, Minnehaha Falls, and Longfellow Gardens in Minneapolis; Lake Phalen, Union Park, and Swen Berglund home at 1860 Feronia in St. Paul; Big Island Park on Lake Minnetonka; and views on and around Pokegama Lake in Pine County. Views of Mrs. H.H. Sorlien, Mrs. John Sorlien, June L. Sorlien, Lawrence Fritzen, Mrs. Alex Johnson and Verner Johnson.

Includes digital content.
Kodak Views, 1908: An Inventory of the Album sv000467
Kodak views, 1908Views possibly compiled by Swen Berglund family of August Shogren residence and Ladies Lutheran Seminary in Red Wing, Minnesota; house at 997 Portland Ave, St. Paul; views at Pokegama Lake; and sites in Pine County and Dalles of St. Croix near Taylors Falls.

Includes digital content.
League of Women Voters of Minnesota: An Inventory of Its Records 00191
Selected correspondence: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. AnthonyRecords documenting the activities of the state league founded in 1919, its local leagues, and their participation in the national League of Women Voters.

Includes digital content.
Legislature: Senate: Judiciary Committee: An Inventory of Its Miscellaneous Records gr01651
Minutes, published reports, and related records of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Meeker County: Grove City: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01652
Birth and death registers (1891-1907) and birth and death certificate records (1908-1952).
Mendota Bridge Construction Photograph Collection: An Inventory of the Collection sv000465
Early stages of Mendota Bridge construction with workers and equipmentEarly views of the construction of Mendota Bridge over the Minnesota River in Hennepin and Dakota Counties. Collection also includes view of Sibley House in Mendota. Majority of images are credited to American Hoist & Derrick Co. and the rest are unidentified creators.

Includes digital content.
Midland Cooperatives, Inc.: An Inventory of Its Records 00219
Headphones iconArticles of incorporation (1947), minutes, resolutions (1942-1980), financial information (1930-1936), programs (1949-1980), meeting files (1974-1982), theses regarding cooperation (1933-1954), audio tapes, printed material, and photographs of a farmers' oil and merchandise consumer cooperative organized in 1926 as the Minnesota Co-op Oil Company. The cooperative specialized in marketing light oil products, then added tires, auto accessories, paint and hardware, farm supplies, household appliances, groceries, fertilizer, feed and seed, and farm machinery to its merchandise stocks. The cooperative was merged into Land O'Lakes in 1982.

Includes digital content.
Mille Lacs County: Bogus Brook Township: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01653
Birth and death register (1900-1908) and birth and death certificate registers (1908-1952).
Mille Lacs County: Milaca: An Inventory of Its Birth and Death Records gr01654
Birth (1908-1911, 1912-1916, 1941-1953) and death (1907-1916, 1941-1953) certificate registers.
Minneapolis Historical Photographs: An Inventory of the Album sv000437
Minneapolis historical photographs, 1857-1940Views of early settlement, industry, buildings and general views of Minneapolis. Compiled by Norton & Peel, commercial photographers, from photographs taken by Norton & Peel and C.J. Hibbard, but most are copied from early photographs, photographers unknown. Most images are identified and some contain further historical description.

Includes digital content.
Minnesota State Fair Award Winners and Fair Scenes: An Inventory of the Photograph Collection sv000481
Views show state fair exhibitors at their homes, working in their areas of interest, including bee keeping, fine arts, sewing, cooking, gardening, and raising horses, cattle, sheep, poultry and pigs. Also includes views of state fairgrounds buildings and concessions. The photoprints were used for state fair publicity. On verso of each photograph is the person's name and address and a short history of their state fair awards.
No. 8 Crocus Hill, St. Paul, Minnesota: An Inventory of the Album sv000458
No. 8 Crocus Hill, St. Paul, Minnesota, approxiamtely 1916Exterior and interior views of the Arnold Schwyzer residence, 8 Crocus Hill (582 Goodrich), St. Paul. Includes views of the Schwyzer children, Arnold G., Marguerite, and Hanns.

Includes digital content.
Northwestern College, Minneapolis: An Inventory of the Album sv000455
Northwestern College, Minneapolis, approximately 1967Views of the buildings and neighborhood of Northwestern College, 50 Willow, Minneapolis. Includes interior views of the library and classrooms and views of proposed expansion plans.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Downtown Minneapolis Albums sv000436
Downtown Minneapolis, 1925-1961General views and street scenes of downtown Minneapolis, including construction and commercial building exteriors.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Flowers Album sv000426
Flowers, 1922-1939Views of flowers in gardens and greenhouses.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Minneapolis and St. Paul Album sv000439
Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1945-1965General views of Minneapolis and the Mississippi River, including the barge terminal below Washington Avenue and general views of St. Paul, including buildings, the Ford Plant, Como Park, and the State Capitol.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Minneapolis Buildings Albums sv000434
Downtown Minneapolis, 1925-1960Views of public buildings and commercial buildings in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Includes street scenes, Hotel Del Otero at Spring Park, John H. Stevens House, interior and exterior views of Metropolitan building, Fort Snelling, Ford Plant and dam, and the Minneapolis airport.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Minneapolis Parks Albums sv000433
Minneapolis parks, 1930-1965Views of Minneapolis parks and scenic roadways, including Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis, Loring Park, Cedar Lake, and Glenwood Park. Album 145 also includes views of the North Shore, Lake Superior, Lake Pepin, Lake Minnetonka, and Taylors Falls.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its North Shore Albums sv000430
North Shore, 1938-1960Views of the North Shore of Minnesota along Lake Superior, most locations are identified including Split Rock Lighthouse. Album 135 also includes views of Minneapolis. Some photographs in Album 135 taken by C.J. Hibbard (predecessor of Norton & Peel).

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Northern Minnesota Albums sv000431
Northern Minnesota, 1930-1955Views of lakes, rivers, and forests in northern Minnesota. Four albums include views of the Gunflint Trail, lakes along the Canadian border, the St. Croix River, Mille Lacs Lake, Rum River, Lake Pepin, fishing, logging operations, Itasca State Park, Superior National Forest, and the North Shore.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Norton & Peel Sample Album sv000428
Norton & Peel sample album, 1910-1940Miscellaneous views, primarily people modeling clothing and costumes, sports activities, grocery store interiors and people working in various office settings. Photographed by C.J. Hibbard and Norton & Peel (successor to Hibbard).

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Snow Scenes in Minnesota Albums sv000432
Snow scenes in Minnesota, 1930-1965Scenic views of winter in Minnesota from the North Shore and Lake Superior area as well as lakes and parks in Minneapolis.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Transportation Albums sv000429
Transportation, 1908-1938Views of various forms of transportation, including fire engines, automobiles, delivery trucks, taxis, buses, and agricultural machinery. Album 134 is primarily automobiles.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Views of Minneapolis Album sv000438
Views of Minneapolis, 1926-1952Views of downtown Minneapolis including street scenes and buildings. Also includes lakes, parks, and interior views of the West Hotel. Some earlier photographs possibly taken by C.J. Hibbard.

Includes digital content.
Norton & Peel: An Inventory of Its Western United States and Canada Album sv000427
Western United States and Canada, 1930-1950Scenic views of the western United States and Canada, many taken in national parks.

Includes digital content.
Owatonna State School: An Inventory of the Album sv000359
Owatonna State SchoolViews of school buildings and facilities, administration and staff, classrooms, and children at work and play.

Includes digital content.
Portraits of Women: An Inventory of the Album sv000459
Portraits of women, 1870-approxiamtely 1879Portraits of unidentified women, many photographed by W.H. Jacoby, Minneapolis.

Includes digital content.
Powers & Simpson Logging Operation Near Hibbing, Minnesota: An Inventory of the Album sv000453
Powers & Simpson logging operation near Hibbing, Minnesota, 1893-1899Views of Powers & Simpson Logging Co. lumber camp five miles northwest of Hibbing in 1898. Includes interior and exterior views of the lumber camp; posed views of lumberjacks and camp crew; views of cutting down trees, toting logs, loading logs on horse-drawn carts and railroad cars, icing logging roads, transporting logs to the mill, log landings; and a view of a cut-over farmstead. Also exterior views of Hotel Hibbing (1899) and Hotel Superior (1893) possibly in Hibbing, Minnesota.

Includes digital content.
Ramblin' 'Round: Autumn Days : An Inventory of the Album sv000448
Ramblin' 'round  : autumn days, 1912Views of men and women taking part in outdoor activities in the Lake Minnetonka area, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Includes views of hiking, picnics, and canoeing. Views are possibly of Dr. Robert Mowry Bell and his wife, Elizabeth Kennedy Bell, and friends.

Includes digital content.
Resorts and Recreational Facilities in St. Louis County: An Inventory of the Album sv000444
Resorts and recreational facilities in St. Louis County, approximately 1825 Exterior and interior views of resorts in St. Louis County, Minnesota, including Idelwilde and Grandview. Includes views of people boating and swimming, but majority are scenic or interior views of resort buildings.

Includes digital content.
Alexander R. Robertson Photograph Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000456
Alexander R. Robertson photograph album, approxiamtely 1890Views include scenic winter views of Minnehaha Falls; interior views of the A.R. Robertson Engine Co., St. Paul; interior views of a house that was possibly the home of A.R. Robertson; and a view of Euclid-View Flats, Bates and Euclid, St. Paul.

Includes digital content.
Scenic Views and Wedding Photographs: An Inventory of the Album sv000457
Scenic views and wedding photographs, approximately 1900Views of a rural area, location unknown. Also includes views of a bride and groom, their attendants, and the decorated church.

Includes digital content.
Dan Silvers: An Inventory of His Interstate 35W Bridge Construction Photograph Collection sv000469
View of Interstate 35W bridge collapse cleanup, 2007Views of the aftermath of the I-35W bridge collapse and subsequent cleanup, demolition, and construction processes. Photographed by Dan Silvers, an engineer who visited the site multiple times.

Includes digital content.
St. Louis County Club Building and Exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair: An Inventory of the Albums sv000442
St. Louis County Club building and exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair, 1921-1938Mainly interior views showing the various exhibits, does include exterior views. Album 160 includes views of open pit mining (1918) in northern Minnesota, the Thompson Dam, and the Hibbing, Minnesota high school under construction.

Includes digital content.
St. Paul Winter Carnival Photograph Album: An Inventory of the Album sv000452
St. Paul Winter Carnival photograph album, 1916-1917Views of the 1916 and 1917 St. Paul Winter Carnivals in St. Paul, Minnesota shows participants in carnival costumes, ice fort at Harriet Island (1916), tobogganing and toboggan slides, push ball, hockey, ice palace at Rice Park (1917), parade, blanket toss, and Prince Paul (1917). Also includes views of a military parade in possibly St. Paul and women in swimming suits at a public bathing beach.

Includes digital content.
Supreme Court: An Inventory of The Case Files, General Index, and Briefs of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals gr00088
Table of contentsMaterials relating to the proceedings of the trial (lower) courts, filed by the lawyers of parties involved in actions or proceedings in preparation for a hearing with the Supreme Court or (beginning in 1983) the Court of Appeals. They also include the opinions, orders, and judgments generated by these two higher courts.

Includes digital content.
United States. Bankruptcy Court (Minnesota): An Inventory of Its Records 01337
Cover letters, 1983-1991Includes chronological judicial decisions and accompanying cover letters (1983-2009) by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota. Established in 1979, in response to the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, this collection of appellate judicial decisions document judges' treatment of the Minnesota cases and their development of the substantive and procedural law under the 1978 Code.

Includes digital content.
Urban Concerns Workshops, Inc.: An Inventory of Its Records P2612
Video iconRecords of a bipartisan organization created to help minorities and youth understand the political process.

Includes digital content.

New and Updated Catalog Records

Irvine, William N. Letter to Theodore A. Irvine, 1861 August 6.
Holographic letter written at Camp Rockville, Maryland, by a Monticello, Minnesota man serving in the First Minnesota Infantry to his brother, Theodore A. Irvine, also of Monticello, describing the activities of the First Minnesota Infantry before, during and after the Battle of Bull Run.
Lull Industries, Inc. Lull Industries records, 1957-2001.
History of machines made (1957-1997), historical miscellany (1991-2001), photographs, price list (1995), product sheets, specifications, and sales manuals (1989-1998) of a Saint Paul-based firm founded in 1956 that manufactured rough-terrain lift trucks and heavy-duty pipe and pole handlers.
Sherman, Thomas W. Letter to adjutant general, 1857 July 30.
Holographic letter signed by Sherman as a captain in the 3rd United States Artillery Regiment to the adjutant general in Washington, D.C., describing his return from the Yellow Medicine Agency to Fort Ridgely (Minnesota Territory), his receipt of orders to Fort Leavenworth (Kansas Territory), the condition of his horses, and his reasons for not immediately complying with the orders.

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